Insurance Industry at a Glance

  • The U.S. insurance industry’s net premiums written totaled $1.1 trillion in 2012, with premiums recorded by life/health (L/H) insurers accounting for 58 percent and premiums by property/casualty (P/C) insurers accounting for 42 percent, according to SNL Financial LC.
  • P/C insurance consists primarily of auto, home and commercial insurance. Net premiums written for the sector totaled $456 billion in 2012.
  • The L/H insurance sector consists primarily of annuities and life insurance. Net premiums written for the sector totaled $643 billion in 2012.
  • Health insurance is generally considered separate. The sector includes private health insurance companies as well as government programs. P/C and L/H insurers also write some health insurance.
  • There were 6,115 insurance companies in 2012, including P/C (2,660 companies), life/annuities (913), health (806), fraternal (88), title (58), risk retention groups (272) and other companies (1,318).
  • Insurance carriers and related activities accounted for $398 billion, or 2.6 percent of U.S. gross domestic product in 2011.
  • The U.S. insurance industry employed 2.3 million people in 2012. Of those, 1.4 million worked for insurance companies, including life, health and medical insurers (807,900 workers), P/C insurers (591,300 workers) and reinsurers (25,600 workers). The remaining 912,300 people worked for insurance agencies, brokers and other insurance-related enterprises.
  • Total P/C cash and invested assets were $1.4 trillion in 2012. L/H cash and invested assets totaled $3.4 trillion in 2012. The majority of these assets were in bonds (65 percent of P/C assets and 75 percent of L/H assets).
  • P/C and L/H insurance companies paid $16.7 billion in premium taxes in 2012, or $53 for every person living in the United States.
  • P/C insurers paid out $35.0 billion in property losses related to catastrophes in 2012, compared with $33.6 billion in 2011, according to ISO. There were 26 catastrophes in 2012, compared with 30 in 2011.


($ billions)


Source: SNL Financial LC.

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